James Patrick Carey

Update: Picasso's Brush

Hey all! Here's an update on what's been happening since I last let y'all know what the shizzy was. I'm nearing the finish line with my latest album Picasso's Brush. All of the recording went swimmingly in October and November. I returned home to California and finished up the piano parts at Cantaloupe Studio in LA with Douglas Pipes lending his engineering talents. Doug also lent his true expertise helping me to arrange one of the songs for a 40 piece string orchestra! The Budapest Scoring Orchestra in Hungary did a magnificent job, I even got a bunch of video from the session. After that was all finished I shipped the material up to Greg Schutte who recorded and then mixed everything. Being the ever (annoying) perfectionist, I flew back up to Minnesota in May to help polish up the mix a bit and came home very happy. The question then was, "who the hell do I go to for mastering?" For those of you who don't know, the final process in recording an album is called mastering. It's when a very specialized engineer takes all of the songs and puts a final polish on them. It's actually much more complicated than that...but only Sith Lords are allowed know what mastering is truly about. But I digress! Bob Thiele is a guy who was kind enough to respond to one of my emails a few years ago on my last album. He was the music supervisor for all of the Sons Of Anarchy music. His response years ago was something like, "good job!" So I thought I'd email him again on the off chance that he'd respond. The email was pretty simple, "I don't know anything about mastering. Do you? If so, can you point me in a direction?" Lo and behold the guy responded within an hour and told me that he knows nothing but that he trusts his music with Howie Weinberg. After looking at Howie's website I thought there was no way he'd work on my stuff. The guy mastered Nevermind by Nirvana and Hysteria by Def Leppard for God's sake...among a ton of other legendary records. But I thought, what the hell, and called him anyway. He was a hell of a nice guy and said all the right things. "I'll make your stuff sound beautiful. You'll love it. I'll work magic." He certainly talked the talk, but he most definitely has walked the walk, so I believed him! A few days later I went to his house in one of the LA "canyons" in order to give a listen and to pay him. On my way there I got a little nervous because I realized, without knowing his name, I've been admiring his work for decades: Prince, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks...and the list goes on. This is THE guy I want mastering my music...and it's actually happening! I got to his house and after a friendly hello he showed me to his mastering suite and pressed play. The whole house shook with how beautifully loud it was. I was utterly blown away, and still am. I've said this before but I'll say it again, the lesson I'm taking home from this is - if you think something is impossible, try it anyway! So to finish this long and yet unfinished story and to try to condense, I'm now talking to a graphic designer to do the art work, and the CD replicator where everything will eventually end up. All of this should be wrapping up within the next few weeks. Which means a release date of Octoberish! Stay tuned for more. And THANK YOU for reading!

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